Indiana Bill Could Stop Construction of Nursing Homes

The Indiana House Ways and Means Committee passed a bill Thursday that proponents say will increase quality of elder care in the state.

The Indiana Senate will soon vote on a bill that could temporarily stop construction of new nursing homes in the state.

Photo: flickr (ulrichkarljoho)

The Indiana Senate will soon vote on a bill that could temporarily stop construction of new nursing homes in the state.

A panel of Indiana lawmakers is considering a one-year hiatus on building any new nursing homes in the state. Proponents of the one year moratorium on new nursing homes argue it will increase the quality of long-term elder care.

Zeke Turner is the CEO of Mainstreet Properties, which owns several care facilities in Indiana. He testified before the House Ways and Means Committee that the bill could do more harm than good.

“It’s being promoted by the existing nursing homes, many of whom run older properties- and although the quality of care there may be good or bad depending on the operator themselves, the fact is that those properties leave a lot to be desired to the consumer and can be done in a much much better way, and that bill would stop all of that innovation,” Turner says.

But Kathryn Williams of the Indiana Association of Area Agencies says the bill will accomplish this by limiting how much attention nursing home services get from potential customers.

“There’s no shame in businesses trying to attract customers, but we would prefer to see those customers informed about their options to stay at home,” Williams says.

A survey from the AARP shows 90 percent of people over the age of 65 already want to stay in their homes. And Turner says it’s partially for that reason that the bill should not pass. The ban would include properties that include short-term rehabilitation services because they qualify under the legislation’s “skilled nursing” category.

The bill is now slated to move to the full House for a vote.

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